The 100 Degree Lunch – Cucumber Salad

It is HOT today. Summer has arrived with a vengeance. By ten o’clock this morning, it was already over eighty. With the heat index, we’re now just over a hundred at the height of the afternoon. So, not a day for heavy food. We went up to the Evanston farmers market this morning and got some great stuff – new potatoes, some yellow onions, three pints of raspberries, a head of broccoli and a couple of cucumbers. The minute I saw the cucumbers, I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch today – a giant bowl of chilled cucumber salad.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to make. Most people are familiar with it as an accompaniment to chicken satay with peanut sauce, and you could certainly throw some of those on the grill to round out your lunch if you wanted. Or make a bowl of chilled sesame noodles or something to serve alongside. But for me, cucumber salad all on it’s own on a super hot day makes a refreshing, cool lunch.

2 large cucumbers, partially peeled (we take off a few strips down the length, leaving some stripes of skin), seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

half a yellow onion, julienned

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons white sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Assembly is easy – you just throw everything into a bowl, and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour, so that it gets nice and cold and the veg can really soak up the marinade. If you’re in a hurry, you can chill it in half the time by sticking it in the freezer. Easy, fresh and tasty and no hot cooking involved! Perfect summer food on a sweltering day.